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Whiskey expert terrified of losing his sense of smell and taste continues to live isolated

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31-year-old whisky connoisseur Blair Bowman began restricting his activities in February 2020 and has remained in lockdown longer than the rest of the UK. He claims he has never been happier in his life.

Since before the UK restrictions, a man who is afraid of losing his sense of smell and taste has been in self-imposed lockdown.

Blair Bowman, a 31-year-old whisky expert, began limiting his activities in February 2020 and went under lockdown a few weeks before it was implemented across the country.

He and his spouse have been living in isolation in their Edinburgh house for two years, and he couldn’t be happier.

Blair now only goes out for walks and food shopping, preferring to use click and collect, which is a far cry from his “regular” existence.

Blair has attended business dinners and lunches all around the world as a whisky broker, including Malaysia, Greece, Norway, and Turkey.

Despite this, he claims that he enjoys his new lifestyle and that he is still able to work from home.

Blair says: “We’ve both been in this little bubble since the start and made a decision early on to wait for things to blow over.

“For me the loss of sense of taste and smell was so important and quite a hard-hitting thing that made me decide to be more cautious.

“About 40 per cent of how we experience the world is taste and smell, I’d really miss being able to taste a nice coffee.

“It’s less about my job and more about how I’d enjoy life.

“There is no point in even drinking whisky because people have told me they can only experience the texture of it and not the flavours.

“It looks like a large number of people do recover their sense of smell and that gives me a lot of hope.”

Blair would have takeout coffees and meet people outdoors last summer, when Covid was at its lowest point since the outbreak began.

But when the numbers started to rise again, he decided to lockdown.

Blair believes “the short-term benefits of being out don’t outweigh the risks” and has overcome his sense of loss.

As the numbers grew, the pair went back into lockdown and took social distance seriously.

Despite his isolation, he is able to communicate with people from all over the world on a daily basis thanks to technology.

Blair said: “I know I will have plenty of opportunities to travel, to have dinners and visit new places when I feel ready to do it.

“I’m more content than I’ve been at any other point in my life. My business is actually excelling and booming.

“I used to travel internationally – that was a lot of overheads.

“Obviously I enjoyed it and I look forward to going back to it eventually when I feel comfortable to do so but in one week, I can talk to clients in Japan, India, Europe and the USA and not have to leave my living room.

“I probably speak to about 20 people every day on average, so it’s not like I’m actually that shut off.

“It’s not like I’m a hermit – it’s just that I am not doing it in person and that’s the difference.”

Blair makes sure he’s up to date on Covid statistics so he can make informed decisions regarding his boundaries.

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